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Full text of "My country and my people"

STORY   OF   THE   SINO-JAPANESE   WAR       341
Monarchy feared the Emperor, but these military satraps had neither an emperor nor a strong public opinion to be afraid of. If Japan had chosen to strike in the first decade of the Republic, as she did in the presentation of the Twenty-One Demands in 1915, and had not been restrained by fear of the Western Powers, China could have been conquered already.
Looking now over the transformation of the spirit of modern China in the last four decades, one cannot remain blind to the benefits that come from the general enlightenment of the people as a whole. By the western yardstick of Progress, one can easily point to the spread of schools and colleges, the steady Increase of newspapers and the output of books, the rapid development of motor highways and railways, the emancipation of women and the participation of women in politics, the growing prevalence of a standard national language, the elimination of likin taxes, the consolidation of finance, the gradual weeding out of corruption, and most important of all, an entirely new spirit of hope and endeavour and an almost impetuous desire for reconstruction among the public functionaries of the country, No greater contrast exists than in the management of the finances of the country, between the Peking regime which always paid the salaries of its officials, teachers, and diplomats in arrears and whose finance consisted in juggling with loans from month to month, and the Nanking Government which could invest millions in the construction of public buildings, radio stations, wharves, quarantine boats, gymnasiums, stadiums, highroads and railways, and spent a hundred thousand dollars monthly on the Academia Sinica for scientific research alone. Such progress was due to the existence of a stable government for over ten years, but due in the final analysis to the general penetration of western influence and enlightment. A new generation of western-educated financiers and college professors replaced the old mandarinate of the Peking regime. At one time in the Nanking Cabinet, I could count three professors of the Peking National University, a professor of geology and a professor of economics, both educated in Germany, and a chancellor and professor of education, educated in America. A different generation necessarily meant a different point of view, and the change in the spirit of men